Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also providing advice for writers, industry news, and commentary. Writer Beware® is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.

August 16, 2019

From the Philippines, Not With Love: A Plague of Publishing, Marketing, and Fake Literary Agency Scams


Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

I've been expending a lot of words and time lately warning about the latest scam phenomenon to hit the writing world: fake publishers, marketers, and "literary agencies" that, through outrageous prices and worthless services, extract enormous amounts of money from unwary writers.

Based in the Philippines (despite their apparent US or Canadian addresses, phone numbers, and telemarketer names) and preying primarily on the elderly and on writers who've self-published (particularly with one of the Author Solutions imprints), these companies recruit authors with relentless--and highly deceptive--phone and email solicitations. 

The scams' focus has shifted over the years. When I first discovered them in 2014, they were primarily selling publishing and marketing services, but currently they're more likely to approach potential victims by posing as literary agencies that can transition authors to traditional contracts, or companies that can market books to major film studios and streaming services. They may also impersonate real, reputable agents, editors. and publishers, or falsely use the logos of major publishers and publishing industry groups like the Authors Guild.

Some of the scams do provide at least some of the services authors pay for, albeit at seriously inflated prices and often of poor quality. Others just take the money and run. I've heard from writers who've paid thousands, or even tens of thousands, to one--or, in some cases, more than one--of these scams, with next to nothing to show for it. 

The scams share a cluster of characteristics that make them reasonably easy to identify. If a company exhibits three or more of these characteristics--especially if it has contacted you out of the blue--be extremely skeptical.

- Cold-call solicitations by phone and email (this is the number one sign of a scam: real literary agents and publishers do not typically reach out to authors they don't represent, while for scammers it's their main mode of recruitment)
- Re-publishing offers (since most of their targets are self-published authors)
- Claims of expertise that can't be verified, since staff names and biographies are not provided, or can be easily refuted (for instance if they claim years of experience but their web domain was only registered a few months ago)
- English-language errors on websites and in emails, and telemarketers with foreign accents (since the scams are owned and staffed primarily by people for whom English is a second language)
- A catalog of junk marketing services (services of dubious value that are cheap to provide and can be sold at a huge markup, including press releases, email blasts, book trailers, social media posts, paid reviews and radio interviews, and the like).

A few of my posts about the scams--where they come from, how they work, and how to recognize them:

- Army of Clones: Author Solutions Spawns a Legion of Copycats
- Army of Clones Part 2: Twenty-One (More) Publishing and Marketing "Services" to Beware Of
- Vanity Radio: Why You Should Think Twice Before Paying For an Interview

Below is a list of the scams themselves--at least, the more than 125 I've identified so far (the list is also posted in the sidebar of this blog). You'll note that a number of them operate under more than one name--I suspect the interconnection is much greater than this, but I've only indicated additional names where I've been able to reliably document them.

Some have perished since I began the list--I've noted this, but left their names for the sake of authors who may have been scammed while they were operational.

- Access Media Group (aka Quill Space Media) (Quill Space Media is defunct)
- Ace Media Creative Publication / Ace Media International / APM Media Production (aka Pearson Media Group) (defunct under the Ace name, still doing business as Pearson Media)
- Adaptations Tide
- ADBooks Press (aka Coffee Press / Okir Publishing) (all three names are defunct)
- Adverters, The (aka Sherlock Press)
- Alpha Books Solutions
- Alpha Books United
- Amelia Book Company (defunct) (aka Amelia Publishing / Litfire Publishing / GoToPublish)
- Amelia Publishing (aka Amelia Book Company / LitFire Publishing / GoToPublish)
- AnalytIQ (defunct)
- Ascribed LLC (defunct)
- Atheneum Literary
- Author Aide
- Author Codex (aka BookSpine Press) (BookSpine Press is defunct)
- Author Media Express (aka Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Groups / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
- Author Pro Creatives and Marketing (aka Matchstick Literary) (Author Pro Creatives is defunct)
- Author Reputation Press
- Author Shack (defunct)
- Author University
- AuthorCentrix (formerly BookBlastPro) (defunct)
- AuthorLair
- Authors Avenue Media Group
- Authors' Breakthrough Solutions
- Authors' Fortune Press and Media
- Authors Legacy (defunct)
- Authors Note 360 (website still online, but mostly nonfunctional)
- Authors Press (aka Westwood Books Publishing [formerly Greenberry] / Creative Books)
- Authors' Tranquility Press
- Beacon Books Agency (aka Fact & Fiction Entertainment and Literary Agency)
- Bennett Media & Marketing
- Best Books Media (aka Global Summit House / The Universal Breakthrough)
- Black Lacquer Press & Marketing
- Blue Ink Scribble
- BooConn Marketing
- Book Agency Plus (aka BookTrail Agency)
- Book Art Press Solutions (aka Author Media Express / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Groups / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
- Book Avenue Publishing (aka Nivra Press) (both are defunct)
- Book Chambers, The (aka LitHub, whch is defunct)
- Book Magnets
- Book Masters, The
- Book Reads Publishing (defunct)
- Book Vine Press
- BookSpine Press (aka Author Codex) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Codex)
- Booktimes (aka Book Art Press Solutions / Book Art Press Solutions / Bookwhip / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
- BookTrail Agency (aka Book Agency Plus)
- Books Scribe
- BookVenture Publishing
- BookWhip (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
- Box Office Media Creatives (aka Buzz Media Creatives) (Buzz Media Creatives is defunct)
- Braintree Interactive Media (aka Bright Lights Distribution)
- BrandingNemo
- BridgeBooks (business name in the Philippines for Chapters Media and Advertising / PaperBytes Marketing Solutions)
- Bright Lights Distribution (aka Braintree Interactive Media)
- Buzz Media Creatives (aka Box Office Media Creatives) (defunct under the Buzz name, still doing business as Box Office Media Creatives)
- Capstone Media Services (aka Stampa / Stampa Global) (defunct under the Capstone name, still doing business as Stampa)
- Carter Press (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / BookWhip / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Groups / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Media Express, Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, BookWhip, and Pearson Media Group)
- Chapters Media & Advertising (aka PaperBytes Marketing Solutions / Fresh Pages Media and Advertising (defunct) / TechBooks Media (defunct)) (does business in the Philippines as BridgeBooks)
- Coffee Press (aka Okir Publishing / ADBooks Press) (all three names are defunct)
- ConquerPress
- Creative Books (aka Westwood Books Publishing / Authors Press)
- Creative Titles Media  (aka TrueMedia Creatives) (both defunct)
- Crest Media Distribution (defunct)
- DC Media Creative
- Diamond Media Press
- Dream Books Distribution (website is dead)
- Dreamer's Point
- EC Publishing
- Editor's Creative Media (website is dead) (aka Editor's Press and Media / Silver Ink Literary Agency / Global Review Press / Quantum Discovery)
- Editor's Press and Media (aka Editor's Creative Media (website is dead) / Silver Ink Literary Agency / Global Review Press /Quantum Discovery)
- Experttell (aka Fox Media Studios Agency / Silver Fox Media / Orions Media Agency / Pioneer Media Productions / Page Turner Press and Media / Innocentrix) (Orions Media Agency and Pioneer Media Productions are defunct)
- Fact & Fiction Entertainment and Literary Agency (aka Beacon Books Agency)
- FilmHatch Media Productions
- Filmways Pictures Media / Filmways Pictures Agency
- Folio Avenue Publishing
- Fox Media Studios Agency (aka Silver Fox Media / Orions Media Agency / Experttell / Pioneer Media Productions / PageTurner Press and Media / Innocentrix) (Orions Media Agency and Pioneer Media Productions are defunct)
- Fresh Pages Media and Advertising (defunct) (see Chapters Media & Advertising)
- Ganpi Media
- Get Started Books (aka Legaia Books / West Literary Agency / Right Choice Multimedia) (Legaia Books and West Literary Agency are defunct)
- Glasslink Solutions (aka Harper Media /Harper Partners LLC)
- Global Review Press (aka Silver Ink Literary Agency / Editor's Press and Media / Editors Creative Media (Editors Creative Media is defunct) / Quantum Discovery)
- Global Summit House (aka Best Books Media / The Universal Breakthrough)
- Gold Touch Press
- Golden Ink Media Services (website has a "dangerous page" warning) (aka Great Writers Media / Green Sage Agency / Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy)
- Goldman Agency
- Gotham Books
- GoToPublish (aka LitFire Publishing / Amelia Publishing / Amelia Book Company)
- Great Writers Media (aka Golden Ink Media Services / Green Sage Agency / Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy
- Green Sage Agency (aka Golden Ink Media Services / Great Writers Media /  Pen Culture Solutions / P One Media Marketing Consultancy)
- Happy Media Consulting (website is dead)
- Harper Media (aka Glasslink Solutions / Harper Partners LLC)
- Harper Partners LLC (aka Glasslink Solutions / Harper Media)
- Haynes Marketing + Media
- Haystack Creatives (aka Rustik Haws) (Rustik Haws appears to be defunct)
- Identiqa Solutions (aka Lime Press LLC)
- IdeoPage Press Solutions (aka The Writer Central) (defunct under both names)
- InfusedMedia LLC
- Ingress Advertising
- Innocentrix (aka PageTurner Press and Media / Silver Fox Media / Fox Media Studios Agency / Orions Media Agency / Pioneer Media Productions / Experttell) (Orions Media Agency and Pioneer Media Productions are defunct))
- Inspirium Press and Media (aka Word Art Publishing)
- International Book Media
- Jurnal Press
- Kilmer Press Solutions
- Legaia Books (defunct) (aka Get Started Books / West Literary Agency (website is down) / Right Choice Multimedia)
- Lettra Press (aka Pen House LLC)
- Lime Press LLC (aka Identiqa Solutions)
- LitFire Publishing (website is mostly nonfunctional, except for a Bookstore page) (aka Amelia Publishing / Amelia Book Company / GoToPublish)
- LitHub (defunct) (aka The Book Chambers)
- LitPrime Publishing / LitPrime Solutions
- Mainspring Books
- Maple Leaf Publishing
- Marshall and Macmillan
- Martin and Bowman
- MatchStick Literary (aka Author Pro Creatives and Marketing, which is defunct
- McNaughton Books / McNaughton Publishing (website is currently dead)
- The Mulberry Books
- Netsfilm & Media Press (defunct)
- New Age Literary Agency
- New Leaf Media LLC (aka TransMedia Agency)
- New Reader Media
- Nivra Press (aka Book Avenue Publishing) (both are defunct) 
- Odyssey Media Press
- Okir Publishing (aka ADbooks Press / Coffee Press) (all three names are defunct)
- Optage Publishing (defunct)
- Orions Media Agency (defunct) (aka Fox Media Studios Agency / Silver Fox Media / Pioneer Media Productions / Experttell / PageTurner Press and Media / Innocentrix) (Pioneer Media Productions is defunct)
- Outstrip (defunct)
- P One Media Marketing Consultancy (aka Golden Ink Media Services / Great Writers Media / Green Sage Agency / Pen Culture Solutions)
- PR Media Solutions LLC (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen / Window Press Club) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Media Express, Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, BookWhip, and Pearson Media Group)
- Pacific Books Publishing (defunct)
- PageClapp Media (defunct)
- PageTurner, Press and Media (aka Innocentrix / Fox Media Studios Agency / Pioneer Media Productions / Silver Fox Media / Orions Media Agency / Experttell) (Orions Media Agency and Pioneer Media Productions are defunct)
- Paper Bytes Marketing Solutions (aka Chapters Media & Advertising / Techbooks Media (defunct) / Fresh Pages Media and Advertising (defunct)) (does business in the Philippines as BridgeBooks)
- PaperChase Solution (defunct)
- Parchment Global Publishing (aka Word Dominion International, which is defunct)
- Paradigm Print (no longer has a website)
- Paramount Books Media (website is dead)
- Pearson Media Group (aka Ace Media Creative Publication / Ace Media International / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Bookwhip / Carter Press / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
- Pearson's Media and Consultancy
- Pen Culture Solutions (aka Golden Ink Media Services / Great Writers Media / Green Sage Agency / 
P One Media Marketing Consultancy)
- Pen House LLC (aka Lettra Press)
- Picador Media Works
- Pioneer Media Productions (defunct) (aka Silver Fox Media / Fox Media Studios Agency / Orions Media Agency / Experttell / PageTurner Press and Media / Innocentrix) (Orions Media Agency is defunct)
- Pixar Film Agency
- Polaris Interstellar
- Press To Impress Publishing (defunct)
- Primeway Media Services (website is dead)
- Pubkits.com
- Quantum Discovery (aka Silver Ink Literary Agency / Editor's Press and Media / Editor's Creative Media (defunct) / Global Review Press)
- Quill Space Media (aka Access Media Group) (defunct, but still doing business as Access Media Group)
- Rainbow Experts
- Readers Magnet
- Right Choice Multimedia (aka West Literary Agency / Legaia Books / Get Started Books) (Legaia Books and West Literary Agency are defunct)
- Royale House (defunct)
- Rushmore Press
- Rustik Haws (aka Haystack Creatives) (Rustik Haws website is dead; Haystack Creatives still in business)
- Sherlock Press (aka The Adverters) (Sherlock is defunct, Adverters still in business)
- Silver Fox Media (aka Fox Media Studios Agency / Orions Media Agency / Pioneer Media Productions / Experttell / PageTurner Press and Media / Innocentrix) (Orions Media Agency and Pioneer Media Productions are defunct)
- Silver Ink Literary Agency (aka Editors Press and Media / Editor's Creative Media (defunct) / Global Review Press / Quantum Discovery)
- SPARK Literary and Media
- Stampa Global (formerly Capstone Media Services)
- Stellar Literary Press and Media
- Stephenson and Queen (aka BookWhip / Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions / Booktimes / Carter Press / PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Window Press Club) (Carter Press, PR Media Solutions, and Window Press Club are defunct)
- Stonewall Press (aka Uirtus Solutions) (both defunct)
- Storium Press
- Stratton Press
- Supreme Media Corp 
- Techbooks Media (defunct) (see Chapters Media & Advertising)
- Toplink Publishing
- TransMedia Agency (aka New Leaf Media)
- TrueMedia Creatives (aka Creative Titles Media) (both defunct)
- Truman Publishing
- Uirtus Solutions (aka Stonewall Press) (both defunct)
- Universal Book Solutions (website is dead)
- Universal Breakthrough, The (aka The Universal Pages / Best Books Media / Global Summit House)
- Universal Pages, The (aka The Universal Breakthrough)
- URLink Print and Media
- VHawk Solutions
- Vivlio Hill Publishing (aka Vivlio Solutions / Vivlio Marketing Solutions)
- West Literary Agency (website is down) (aka Right Choice Multimedia / Legaia Books (defunct) / Get Started Books)
- WestPoint Print and Media
- Westwood Books Publishing (formerly Greenberry) (aka Authors Press / Creative Books)
- Window Press Club (aka Author Media Express / Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, Bookwhip / Carter Press, PR Media Solutions / Pearson Media Group / Stephenson and Queen) (defunct, but still doing business as Author Media Express, Book Art Press Solutions, Booktimes, and BookWhip)
- Word Dominion International (defunct) (aka Parchment Global Publishing)
- Word Art Publishing (aka Inspirium Press and Media)
- WorkBook Press
- The Writer Central (aka IdeoPage Press Solutions, which is defunct
- Writers Apex
- Writers Book Advertising Services (aka Writers Book Publishing House / Writers Desks LLC / Writers Republic)
- Writers Book Publishing House (aka Writers Desks LLC / Writers Book Advertising Services / Writers Republic)
- Writers' Branding 
- Writers Desire Innovation Agency
- Writers Desks LLC (aka Writers Book Publishing House / Writers Book Advertising Services)
- The Writers Gallery (website is dead)
- Writers Republic (aka Writers Desks/ Writers Book Publishing House / Writers Book Advertising Services)
- YourOnlinePublicist (aka YOP)
- Zeta Publishing

(I'm continuously updating this list--adding new companies as I discover them, noting the ones that disappear.)

I know my warnings are having an effect, not just because I'm hearing from writers who've found my posts or my list and have been able to avoid being ripped off, but because some of the scams are getting...a little defensive. Book-Art Press now includes this in its solicitation emails:
The links are to anti-Writer Beware screeds from people WB has exposed.

The grievance is definitely on display in this one, from MatchStick Literary (it also showcases the scams' trademark fractured English):

See ya at Writer Beware, scammers!

UPDATE 12/10/19: I want to highlight this recent comment, which illustrates how ubiquitous and persistent these scams are. Bottom line: if you self-publish, you can pretty much count on being solicited. Be on your guard. (By "GoTo", I'm assuming the commenter means GoToPublish.)

UPDATE 11/13/20: The latest scammer love note, left as a comment here. Good to know I'm still hitting a nerve!


UPDATE 12/30/20: They still love me! I didn't let these comments through, but I did memorialize them.

207 comments :

1 – 200 of 207   Newer›   Newest»
Kanoy said...

This isn't foolproof, but if you want to find out if a person is Filipino, have them say "I want to take a journey to your country". If they pronounce journey as joorney and country as count (like Dracula) - ree, ask if they're on Luzon or Cebu, because they've just confirmed their nationality.

I live in Southern Leyte and go to Cebu every month or so. Being a call center worker (especially receiving and not making calls) is actually a high paying and rather prestigious job here.

Allen F said...

And we'll see replies telling of how good some of these scammers really are in 3 2 1 ... ;-)

Keep up the good work. When they whine you know you're impacting their bottom line.

Stephen Bentley said...

Like Kanoy, I too live in the Philippines. I would suggest a surefire way of telling if Filipinos are writing their scam emails is the wrong use of singular and plurals. Note the use of "feedbacks" instead of feedback. It's a dead giveaway every time.

Of course, I am not saying they are all scammers here but there is a scam cottage industry not just in the publishing world but also in the online dating world.

You do a great job, Victoria. So much so, I have started Tweeting your blog posts using your RSS Feed. I am @StephenBentley8 on Twitter.

Christine Tripp said...

The absolute easiest way to tell if a solicitation phone call or email is a scam.... is that they Contacted you in the first place! Publishers, Agents, just DON'T! The only time you'll be contacted is if you have submitted to them! So simple.

But I want to scream when I see the broken, beaten and bruised english used and scratch my head in wonder, that someone who prides themselves on writing doesn't see a problem when they get an email or call from a "Publisher" that can't construct a simple paragraph or even a sentence!

"our legal AUTHORITIES HAD taken necessary THINGS INTO ACTION to put these OPPOSING PEOPLE IN THEIR RIGHT PLACES" huh?

(where are the laugh emoji's when you need them?)

Wordrefiner said...

I am posting your blog links on my website and I am sharing your blog on my Twitter, Facebook accounts and LinkedIn. I greatly appreciate the service and information you provide. My website is https://www.wordrefiner.com

PT Dilloway said...

Doesn't the Philippines have any libel laws? Hopefully people are smart enough to realize what they say about Writer Beware is pure bull.

Viv Sang said...

Thank you for all your warnings. they are most helpful. And as Christine Tripp says, if the contact you, it'll be a scam.

Anonymous said...

Back when I was a newbie at this writing game, Writer Beware was my go-to to stay out of trouble. Thanks so much. BTW, my first and best lesson was: if they ask for money, fuhgeddaboudit!

Victoria Strauss said...

Thank you, Anonymous 9/03! Glad to have been of help.

Anonymous said...

I get the calls. I tell them to send it in writing and they hang up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Victoria. I was about to fall for one of the Philippines companies you list - they said they wanted to republish my book that had already been published by another Philippines company! I was about to be caught twice!!
- Anonymous, 9/18/19.

Craig N Willis said...

Thank you, Victoria. I had been, as a newbie author, engaged in preliminary discussions with Dream Books Distribution, when a couple of incongruities raised some questions in my mind.
You will have saved me some considerable trouble. I am very grateful
So, the resulting question is: do you have a resource of REPUTABLE publicity experts for a self published author, whose publisher is not particularly focused on the publicity part of the business?
Again, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Can't just blame it to the Philippines
The employees are still cheaply paid regardless of the very expensive packages being offered.
And guess what, they are backed by foreigners.. Americans mostly, there's Canadian.
They are the ones who trained the pinoy and makes the pinoy lie about stuff.. You should know that also, Americans/Canadians are the ones hiring the people in the Philippines to do the scamming.. your own people

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 9/19,

You're absolutely right--these scams are rooted in the business practices of companies like Author Solutions and Tate Publishing, which outsourced so much of their business overseas because it was cheaper, and trained hundreds of Filipino employees in the deceptive, hard-sell tactics that are these companies' hallmarks.

That's not the employees' fault, and it's no wonder that poorly-paid people, seeing how easily writers are deceived and how much money can be extracted from them, decided to grab a piece of the pie by setting up their own publishing and marketing services.

Problem is, they're not just running Author Solutions imitation businesses (which would be bad enough, considering how AS takes advantage of writers). They are ruthlessly scamming people, with lies, insane prices, and non-delivery of services.

So...yeah. These scams arise directly from the business practices of American companies (as I've made clear in my posts). But it's Filipinos doing the scamming, and the Filipino origin of these companies is one of their unique shared characteristics. So I'll continue to warn about them by pointing out, among other things, where they are located.

Laura K. Curtis said...

They're also getting better at faking their names. "New Leaf Media" is clearly a ripoff of "New Leaf Literary & Media," which is a completely legitimate agency. The closer they can make their names to legitimate publishing houses and agencies, the more confusion they'll engender.

Anonymous said...

You said it! I was almost fooled by that, and thank goodness I took a closer look at the link address!

Anonymous said...

I think you can add Folio Avenue Publishing to the list as well. Also sounded Filipino, cold call, marketing scam.

Anonymous said...

I just received an email from Ralph Louis of Parchment Global Publishing encouraging me to interview with Al Cole on the CBS Radio program, People of Distinction. Thanks to your Web site, I now know that this is a scam. For others out there, beware of Ralph Louis from Parchment Global Publishing, phone number 1-610-686-3222

Laura K. Curtis said...

Got a letter today from EC. Good grief. I wish I could remember the name of the one who actually had the nerve to call me on the phone,.

Jacquelyn N'Jai said...

WOW after all these years Poetry.com is still able to defraud people. ZIt put my poetry on calendars, cups, etc., and was selling them without my consent. I tried getting info to sue them, but they kept changing their names. Why do federal and state agencies allow them to get away with this?

Laura K. Curtis said...

McNaughton Books just called a friend of mine with this scam. They might have been the same one who called me. I think they get your phone number from your copyright application, because I am not listed under the name I publish under.

Victoria Strauss said...

Laura,

Did you use one of the Author Solutions imprints? That's how the scams get hold of a lot of people: they have access to AS customer information.

I've heard from three people now (including you) about McNaughton Books. I found its website, and it's classic clone: solicitations, bad English, fake "about" info (they claim to have been in business since 2010 but their domain was only registered last April), re-publishing offers, Author Solutions-style publishing packages, junk marketing.

So: McNaughton Books is another scam. I've added it to the ever-growing list.

Anonymous said...

I don't think parchment global publishing is a scam, i just did an interview with Al Cole sponsored by parchment

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 10/21,

How much were you asked to pay for your interview with Mr. Cole?

Anonymous said...

Is Folio Avenue Publishing and Marketing on the scam list? Do you have any info on this company? They are out of San Francisco, California. They contacted me today by cold call and gave me a pitch on physical book store placement of my self published children's book. They want $600.00 per store to place one book in each store for a 3 month campaign. Any info would be most helpful. Thanks.

Unknown said...

I am being contacted by Brimingstone Press. I am skeptical. Do you know if they are legit?

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 10/21,

I've gotten a number of questions about Folio Avenue, which has many of the markers of a Philippines-based publishing and marketing scam (including solicitation and junk services)--but I haven't added it to my list because it is actually US-based and its owner is identifiable and traceable, neither of which is typical of the Philippines scams.

What you're being offered is still a ripoff, though. You may well be able to get some shelf placement for your book yourself, for free, by approaching store managers individually as a local author.

Unknown 10/25,

Like Folio Avenue, Brimingstone Writer Services (not Brimingstone Press) has lots of scam markers: solicitation, no info on the company or staff, typos on the website, and all the usual suspects in terms of worthless ripoff marketing (press releases, book fairs, even a "book to screen" package). No prices on the website, which is almost always a marker for big bucks.

However, it too is US-based. I was able pretty quickly to trace it to this guy, Lemuel Sapian, who is based in Texas and owns or administers several businesses under the "Brimingstone" label, including an IT company and a landscaping service. He's an "aspiring minister", so apparently persuading unwary writers to buy overpriced, bogus "services" doesn't disturb his Christian conscience.

So Brimingstone isn't a Philippines scam, but based on what's on offer (and the quality of the two Brimingstone-built author websites I found), it's still a ripoff. Writer Beware says AVOID.

Anonymous said...

Add "Pearson Media Groups" and "Pearson Media Agency" to this prestigious list!

Lemuel Sapian said...

Hi Victoria,

I appreciate your candor and the service you do for your fellow authors. At first the temptation is to cringe at the negativity, but it's understandable, especially in this day and age of dishonest schemes and scams. I too, have been victim of several in my time. It would be disingenuous to suggest a business owner isn't out to make money, but in our capitalist society I'm cognizant that poor service means dwindling business.

So, I'm happy to provide the services we advertise, to the satisfaction of each of our clients. That has been my personal pledge from the beginning. As to my conscience in "persuading unwary writers to buy overpriced, bogus 'services'", what I will say is this; before entering this industry I invested time, money and effort learning online marketing. That's how I know it's not easy or cheap (if you want quality).

The price of our services covers a little profit and the overhead just like any product or service advertised and offered out there. There may be those who may balk at the price. That is fine; they are welcome to put their own time, labor and money to accomplish what they want. But if anyone does purchase our services, I will personally pledge to see to their satisfaction.

While I understand the hesitancy and suspicion given all the scams out there, I'd like to prove there are honest and decent business owners that will lose sleep to make sure they give what they say they will in exchange for the trust their consumers place on them.

Again, thank you for the work you do. It keeps us business owners honest and aware that while making money is nice, good service is better.

Kind regards,

Lemuel V. Sapian
Chief Executive Officer
Brimingstone Writer Services

support@brimingstonewriters.com

Victoria Strauss said...

Thanks for your comment, Lemuel.

Regardless of your intentions, the services you're offering--notably, press releases, book fair display, and book trailers--are largely worthless for book promotion, and a waste of money no matter how much authors are asked to pay. The book-to-screen package is, frankly, exploitative--selling screenplays to production houses is far harder than selling books to traditional publishers, and mostly done through agents, not "pitches."

If you'd like to appear more reputable and transparent, I suggest you provide prices on your website, rather than requiring writers to contact you to find out. I'd suggest you provide a full list of staff, with bios--not just for the company in general, but also those who provide the services you offer, so that writers can assess their (and your) bona fides. Finally, I suggest you provide examples (sample websites, book trailers) and success stories (book to screen, marketing successes), to illustrate the effectiveness of your products. Without those, potential clients have no way to judge the quality of your offerings, or to know whether they are producing results.

Lemuel Sapian said...

Fair enough. As for the marketing strategies, we are conducting ongoing research and implementing the best digital age ways of book promotion. With all due respect, not every author will arrive at the same success you have by utilizing the same methods you implemented. In any case, we work closely with authors, and work to competitively stay on top of the marketing industry by observing trends and apply several strategies.

We are a startup and are still rounding out our permanent staff, but I'll gladly put my info out there to take responsibility for the work my company does. Also, not everything is completely transparent in business but it's not necessarily out of a practice to deceive potential and current clients; often times it's a matter of keeping the competition at bay. Ever since we have had the work to show for it, we've gladly provided samples of our work in our service proposals, offer disclaimers where necessary, and I intend to keep that practice up, even if it takes a little more work and investment to accomplish because I believe in honest business.

I've ordered our web team to create a portfolio of our work to put up on our website. We will continue to add to it as the list of our accomplished work grows. Readers can check it out soon at: brimingstonewriters.com

Thank you for the response by the way! I do wish you and the staff of Writers Beware the best in all your endeavors.

Sincerely,

Lemuel V. Sapian
Brimingstone Writer Services

Cheryl Eckl said...

I was contacted by Parchment Global with an invitation to be interviewed by Al Cole. The cost for "air time" was going to be around $2000, depending on the time slot. I noticed a posting on this thread from Anonymous, who said they just did an interview with Al Cole. Will Anonymous please provide more information--Who are you, how much you paid, did Parchment Global then solicit you to use their self-publishing services? The person who contact me was from Parchment, not from Al Cole's show. All seemed very suspicious. I declined the offer.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your great service and wish I had known about it earlier on, when I had and have invested some monies into two of the above companies. I now put it down to experience, and wish I did not come from the believe in trust and honesty. I can see I have been hoodwinked, in one case two of the books have been published but the prices they charge are so prohibitive that no one will purchase them. The other, you guessed it a book fair. You have the names up above, so I will not add to the list but a third one approached me the other day, and now yesterday, another one, with offers. Having just started to investigate these offers, and yes they all had accents, and I know the ring in the background noise of it being overseas, so fortunately, I could see that , common sense is most useful in life and rather than just take people at their word, to investigate more fully their backgrounds. I just wanted to add what I have experienced, but it has taken many years out of my life, and the sad part is the legitimate publisher that I was to have first dealt with suffered a heart attack, and thus the firm dissolved, so I know the value of my books. This was my downfall. Nevermind, I will keep trying and I thank you for the work you do, and for waking me up to 'real life,' and the schemes that are out there to make a quick dollar. I blame the companies I dealth, one very large, and myself for being gullible.

Victoria Strauss said...

Cheryl,

Reputable radio interview hosts don't charge for interviews. This is what's known as vanity radio--pay to play, just like with book publishing. Basically what you'll get is an advertising clip that you can place on your website, but other than that, what kind of exposure you may get is unknown, since Mr. Cole's various website provide no audience statistics (and I suspect the numbers aren't large; despite the impressive-sounding credits on his resume, Mr. Cole doesn't have much of an online profile--just 115 subscribers on YouTube, for instance).

Also, since Mr. Cole's services would be sold to you through an intermediary, you can be certain there's a markup (probably a substantial one).

Nicole said...

Thankyou so much for your info. I was emailed by Word Art Press (which you already have) and also a scammer "Camry Valentine" from Pubkits.com. It had "CBS Radio Talk Show" in the subject heading. The email was very long, selling me a slot with Al Cole on his talk show which would air to 20 stations plus. It was orignally valued at $8000 but they were giving it to me for $2000. 😂 It was a very long email, with a track message at the bottom of it so the sender could see when and how many times I opened it. I want to warn all authors about it but are not sure how to. Could you add these guys to your list? I would really appreciate it. Thanks Nicole

Victoria Strauss said...

Hi, Nicole,

I'll definitely look into Pubkits.com. In the meantime, would you please forward me the long email you received? My address is beware@sfwa.org. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

These Al Cole interview offers show how interconnected these scams are. They've been hawking vanity radio spots all along, from Ric Bratton and Kate Delaney (both of whom were also featured in offers from the various Author Solutions imprints)--but Al Cole is a new addition, and the different scams are adding him to their menu of junk marketing services at a rapid rate.

Victoria Strauss said...

Just an update: I've added Pubkits.com to the list. It ticks all the boxes: solicitation, unverifiable claims of expertise, bad English, junk marketing. Other clues include a design service named after a common Filipino street food (revealed when you go to pay for one of the sample covers on the site via PayPal).

Anonymous said...

Can you do a little bit more research before you post something like this? I have worked with Stampa in the past before they even ventured into self-publishing. What I do know though is that the same people who started CAPSTONE MEDIA SERVICES are the same people behind CREST MEDIA DISTRIBUTION SERVICES. Check Crest Media and tell me if I'm wrong. :)

Their website is https://crestmediadistribution.com/.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 12/03,

I always do my research before posting something. (As you should know--otherwise why would you be here, trying to do down a competitor?)

Stampa Global's website was only registered last August. I can't find any indication that any company called Stampa or Stampa Global existed before that time. So your claim to have worked with Stampa "before they even ventured into self-publishing" isn't really credible.

As to why I've linked it to Capstone Media Services: on various retailers' websites, Capstone Media books have magically transformed into Stampa Global books. Here's another example. There are many more. The internet does often make it hard to hide your tracks.

I do appreciate the mention of Crest Media--I hadn't encountered that one before. I'm not credulous enough to take your attempt at re-direction at face value, but I will check into it.

Anonymous said...

I self-published in 2013 with the help of a layout person who uploads directly to Lightening Source under an imprint he created -- no connection to Author Solutions or Tate. I started getting calls from Maple Leaf, GoTo, LitFire, Page Turner, and Writer Central last year. What's irritating is that they're now calling my landline (I still have one at home...I know, I know), AND my unlisted cellphone, AND my work phone. I've sometimes had them leave messages at all three locations in the same day.

GoTo just called me about five minutes ago. I know they're a scam, but I'm scared for all of those hopeful writers out there who don't realize that.

Unknown said...

I have published with Authorhouse, Authorsolutions and Book Art Press and I know they say they are from the Philippines but both publishers had my books printed in Milton Keynes and now I'm being harassed by Diamond media press. What's going on ? christinajfox1969@gmail.com

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 12/16,

Author Solutions (AuthorHouse is one of its imprints) is headquartered in the USA, but it outsources a lot of its work to the Philippines. Book Art Press, on the other hand, is based in the Philippines--it has no actual US presence. Its address is fake and its phone numbers are spoofed.

Diamond Media Press is the same kind of scam.

All of these companies have arrangements to print books in facilities that are reasonably close to whoever is ordering them. So if you're in the USA and you order a book from BAP, it'll probably show that it's printed in the US. Ditto for the UK.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been contacted by Peter Anderson of Beacon Books Agency and their offer is too good to be true.

Victoria Strauss said...

Would you share the offer with me? beware@sfwa.org . Thanks.

Unknown said...

I'e been on the phone with this outfit too. And I found this blog researching them. They contacted me first.

Unknown said...

I'll second this.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that the whole "Author Solutions" crowd is not on your long list. That would include Xlibris, Author House, iUniverse, Trafford Press, and a few others. They all have the same mailing address in Bloomington, Indiana, but their work (78% of the employees, according to WIKI) are in Cebu City, Philippines. The last time I checked, they were wholly owned by an Iranian/American from Arizona, named Jahm Najafi, a wealthy venture equity banker (formerly with Salmon Brothers.) My personal experience with XLibris was terrible! All marketing and no "get the book out the door" expertise.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 1/06,

Please read the first of my posts about these scams (there's a link in this post), where I discuss how they sprang directly from Author Solutions and its outsourcing to Philippines-based call centers.

Anonymous said...

I was just about to pay the invoice from pubkits.com (after several long conversations) and decided to do a bit of research before moving forward. Thank you for your posts. It is so disappointing to know this is so widespread. Thank you. you saved me $2500

Karen Ess said...

What about Online Bookclub? I have been offered a 50% discount on their $97 package for mention in their magazine, and they promise that I can get my money back if I don't sell 200 books - I have to follow their publishing plan.

Anonymous said...

Please do not delete anything. Start a historical list of old ones for reference.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 1/11, if they sent you anything via email, would you please share it with me, for my files? beware@sfwa.org All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. Thank you!

Victoria Strauss said...

Karen Ess,

Online Book Club isn't one of the scams discussed in this post. They seem primarily to be a paid review service, but they provide other promotional services as well. Whether any of it is worth the money is an open question, especially since there's no way to determine or verify their membership claims.

Unknown said...

I too have published with AuthorHouse, & my books were also printed in Milton Keynes. AuthorHouse ring me from Indiana, & also the U.K (where i live). I have also recently been canvassed by other 'names' which may all be part of Author Solutions. I ignored them!!

Unknown said...

Thank you for all this valuable information about scams. I wish i had read all this 12 months ago before i signed up with a certain publisher.. They may have got my first book, but they won't get the next 3 in the series! The catalogue of lies, errors, & constant selling of 'services' actually made me ill..I'm just hoping sales are good & i can get back some of the extortionate costs!!

O.K. Oyenekan said...

Great work!
I have just stumbled on this Writer Beware. I got re-published by a company that calls itself Book Venture. Yes, they re-published my book, Karamba, which was earlier published by an Authors Solution outfit, Trafford Publishing, with all kinds of juicy promises. After paying them $5,000 dollars for publishing, they sweet-talked me into going into marketing, for which I also paid $5000. After this, they just vanished into thin air! All calls, emails inquiries were never answered. I later learned that although they use a US address, they do not operate from the US, but from the Phillipines! It is a big shame because outfits like this give others a very bad name.
The name of their so-called marketing director who lured me into this scam bait is Hector Rivera. I will not be surprised if the name itself is a scam. Please put the outfit and he name on the black-list. They are disgusting!

donaldbambrickstories.blogspot said...

I think I got scammed a few times. I am in Australia and am going to find a reputable Queensland based publisher.
At least I could visit them.
Been done by Xlibris, Capstone Media and Parchment media.
Did The Al Cole radio interview as well.
Now Capstone and Parchment are not answering my emails.

Unknown said...

Book Venture is listed with a Michigan office and many employees. But I found a locked door at a two-person office. They are scam out of the Philippines. Run from these people !!!
I stopped into the New Leaf office in Columbus, Ohio, and found a virtual office. If you have an appointment with them, they will hang a sign with their name until your appointment is over. When I told them I stopped by their office, they cut off communication with me.
Maybe you could publish a list of companies that are legit. I'm sure it would be a much shorter list for writers to review.

Thanks,

Marshall Ginevan

O.K. Oyenekan said...

Thank you, Marshall. You have just confirmed what I found out through another source. Book Venture should be avoided like the plague, and their scamming business should receive a publicity fit for rogues.

Thank you.


O. K. Oyenekan

petergaborjustusbooks.com said...

Do you know anything more about Beacon Books Agency? I was contacted by them recently. I am working with ReadersMagnet who provide marketing services that included setting up a website and representations at the various national and international book fairs. I see that they are on the list. The sales results have been poor.

What are your suggestions regarding legitimate book publishers to approach?

Peter Justus

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria, thank you so much for providing all this information about the potential scams, it's quite helpful. I have been offered a movie/screenwriting deal for my first book by Pearson Media Groups, where they have assessed my book's marketability. The offer is quite extensive, however, as I viewed the cost-sharing proposal, my instinct was to question its legitimacy. They claim to operate from Anaheim California. It's always exciting to be offered the book to movie possibility, the prospect that it may be a scam is disappointing.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 2/14,

Pearson Media Group is certainly a scam. I've gotten a number of reports similar to yours. Reputable companies don't charge for such deals. Where books sell or option film rights, it's nearly always via reputable agents, who also don't charge upfront fees.

Would you please forward me the offer you got from Pearson for my files? beware@sfwa.org . Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Reading the article and all the comments make me comfortable with my selfpub status. It's still a hobby though even if I've lucky with bestsellers in my genre. It's been but two years for me and have a long way to go, but I don't think I go to the extent of shelling out good money to publish. The money is better spent on ads.

Camptys said...

I was contacted by Golden Ink Media Services who said they were agents offering to promote my (Authorhouse) self-published book to mainstream publishers. They requested no money for the service, insisting they would take a cut from profits... EH?

Victoria Strauss said...

Camptys,

Golden Ink Media Services is on my list. The "no money upfront" claim is just a hook to get you in the door. You'd be asked for money soon enough.

If they approached you via email, would you forward the email to me? beware@sfwa.org. Thanks.

Bill Benzon said...

Thanks for your work on this, Victoria. My publishing partner, Charlie Keil, was recently contacted by Book-Art Press over the phone. He passed the information on to me, so I went online and found their website, which seemed a bit bland. And then I found your writing on them. I also found a 2018 video on Facebook which purports to be their first anniversary party. Here's the direct link for any readers who are curious:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=315976222511477

Unknown said...

I self published three novels and have had my share of cold calls, sometimes 3 a day. I get proposals via email weekly. I don't answer the phone any longer as I don't want to hurt their feelings. About ten of them appear on your list.

They sound very nice on the phone and complimentary but beware. None of them pronounce my name correctly or the title of my novels. Red flag. They actually say they've read my novel but don't know it's a trilogy. They also think San Diego is near San Francisco. Red Flag. They say they're in Texas or San Francisco yet do not know of The Crookedest Street in the World, Lombard Street. Seriously?

So far I haven't fallen for one of them, and they've been calling since 2015. When they ask to redesign my cover and reprint that offends me. When they want me to be on every social media, that offends me. Not a big social media fan. When they ask if I want a radio interview, that's strange. When they ask if I want my novel to be made into a movie, that insults me. A big request lately is being in a book fair in New York. With crowds during this virus, I doubt if anyone would attend or if it would be held.

If they aren't with a legit publishing company, I'm not interested. No more marketing scams, schemes, and promises, please. I don't want to hear their spiels any longer! Make them stop!

Rosanna Brand

Emily Brown said...

Thank you. My mother received an unsolicited call from Author's Note 360 just last week (3/2020). I even reached out to an author who has used them and received a glowing review. I then came across your blog and called my parents immediately. You have saved us a lot of money and heartache. Thank you so much...

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment. One solicitor said she was calling from New York. I mentioned the virus there and she acted like it wasn't a big deal. That made me think she was either insensitive or not calling from New York. I don't know for sure if all the companies listed are scams but better safe than sorry.

Best of luck to your mom.

Rosanna Brand

Unknown said...

Hello Victoria,

Yesterday I received a fairly legitimate-looking email from a "Regina Wilson" at Pearson Media Group saying my book had been strictly evaluated and qualified for their literary sponsorship program for International Film & Movie Recommendation. The suspicious word was "co-finance." I finally replied, offering to call her at a certain time. She replied in poor English - that is always the big tip-off for me. I can forward you the email, if you like.

Ellen Korman Mains

Victoria Strauss said...

Hi, Ellen,

Yes, please forward me the email. beware@sfwa.org Pearson Media Group is included in my scam list--I've gotten a number of reports. Thanks!

Felicity said...

Hi Victoria. I really appreciate this website, I’ve just had an approach by WorkBook. Sounded great but once again cold email. I said if you are wanting thousands of money forget it. Then a phone call sounded really good, republish, redo the illustrations all for free but you can do 3 instalments for about Us$250 x 3. I said no can’t afford that as it would be over A$1500. Not interested. While he kept talking I looked up your blog. Yep thanks so much. Felicity

Unknown said...

Hi Victoria. Caught up in the scam circus for $9,000.00 dating back to August last year 2019.
Have all necessary evidence of non committal to contract. Heap off. No bank action No police action. Money I have earn't from this rogue company from America in 10 months - PAGE TURNER MEDIA and PRESS -$7.85.
All of these Filipino staff, are operating under assumed names. Abraham Caine. Cynthia Powell.
Ava Harris. What a laugh! All film stars - NO they are all off Filipino extract. Is this legal? What are the authorities of all nation's doing to prevent this outright theft. I have tried for legal advice but they all want monies i do not own. I am a new writer at 88yrs living off the Australian Pension. Am i too old to write no way i am good 88yrs. But i wont get caught again. ALL WRITERS ARE A SITTING TARGET
Thanks for all your GREAT WORK Miss VICTORIA
Peter Poidevin animalsoztralia.com Peter Poidevin U TUBE.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much Victoria.
I was approached by one you haven't listed here, The Mulberry Books, and wanted to find out if you know of their legitimacy-or lack thereof lol
Yes, THEY contacted me randomly
Yes, the representative was Filipino (I could even hear background noises like the person was outside)
and, of course, they offered to republish my book at a lower cost, were very pushy for me to fork out money and all that jazz.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to report Bright Lights Distribution LLC who scammed me for over $20,000 for my children's book!!! They promised the world to me and even told me that my book will be adapted into film if I do business with them! They offered to create a screenplay for my book with other obsolete marketing services but I haven't gotten anything from them in return! They took all of my money and I feel so crushed right now!! I never thought that they would do this to an 83 year old!! I'm having suicidal thoughts now. They've used me!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't get scammed by Author University, they will offer you cheap marketing services, if u can't afford it then they will make payment arrangements. Believe me it's too good to be true. They offered me $799 wo
with inclusions of creating a book trailer for my book, email marketing campaign and including my book on Miami Book Fair. None of it was ever fulfilled. I paid $799 in full. Save your money. I got nothing from them.

Anonymous said...

Hello Victoria I'm was just offered a deal with Writers Republic and a payment plan for 1, 999.00

Please help if this is a legitimate company . Www.writersrepublic.com

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 5/26,

Writers Republic has most of the markers of a publishing and marketing scam--solicitation, high prices, English-language errors, zero verifiable information on the company and its staff, and an emphasis on junk marketing. I'm not sure if it's a Philippines-based scam, though, which is why I haven't added it to the list. It is a scam, though.

Would you be willing to send me whatever Writers Republic sent you, for my files? All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. Email me at beware @ sfwa.org. Thanks!

Victoria Strauss said...

Re: the comments above that I haven't responded to yet: I've researched Bright Lights Distribution and The Mulberry Books, and added them both to the list. The Mulberry Books is especially shady; some of its website isn't even populated with real text, and it's listed as "non-compliant" with the Colorado Secretary of State for failure to file required reports.

Halcombe Norilsk said...

I have received this email from Pearson Media Group: http://albertogonzalo.blogspot.com/2020/06/pearson-media-group-scam.html#more

Naveen Sridhar said...

Thank you very much for your work. I have been approached by such publishers and had to check out with your list to make sure they do not appear there. They all do! Some wrote faulty English, one even mentioned a wrong title as mine.
As I felt I may again get hooked by a fake or vanity publisher, I wanted to try a regular publisher. Also, agents are infested with vanity agents, as I heard from an agency consultant. There is no rule that they all be in the AAR association or be supervised.
It is high time a recognized literary association began policing all these fields or at least supporting your mission. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR WONDERFUL WORK. With best wishes NAVEEVN SRIDHAR

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria,

This is indeed a very helpful content. Not all are scam. I have published my book and everything went well. You are already giving people a bad impression in self publishing. I understand that you have had bad experiences about publishing but I don't think it's right that you are putting words in to the publishers' mouths. I think it's only fair that we listen to them. I wasn't given rainbows and butterflies when I published my book. It's just a matter of having a follow up after everything that's done. Also, I don't think language should be an issue here because not everyone in America speaks good English. I just don't think that we should be pointing at people/countries with our misfortune here in the publishing industry. I had a really nice experience with them. Just saying.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for letting us self-published authors in on the pitfalls of answering our phone! Trafford & Co. has published all 3 of my books with integrity and attention to my requests for corrections of my errors in spelling, rewrites, etc., but using them has put me on the Author Solutions telemarketing victim's list, including many of the outfits which you have listed, in fact! I'm scheduled to talk with one of the "many" agents working with Beacon Books Agency, when in fact they have 2 employees who use, you guessed it, standard broken "Enlish." Thanks for your warnings! Narelle

Bob Marks said...

Having Authored Way Of Life, Rhymes N Reasons The Lyrical Expressions, Meadow Skipper The Untold Story and co authored others, I found myself inundated with callers and e mailers promising all sorts of sales and recognition for a fee of course but none thought so highly of Way Of Life in particular that they would do their services on a contingency basis even though I offered under contract to provide them with the lions share of the royalties they promised I'd receive.

Approaching 78 with very limited income I cannot throw away limited finds on potential scams. Thank You for providing this material. BOB MARKS

Jeanine S said...

Thank you SO much for your post and making it easy for authors to know what's a scam and what isn't. I really, really appreciate your work, you have no idea!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Leslie Anne said...

Thank you so much for your post to let authors know if the email you received is a scam or not. It happend to me, the other day, so glad I had a place to check the name and know it was a scam I was dealing with. Thanks again and I will let family and friends know about your site so they too can check into their scams if they ever need the information.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much. The Green Sage Agency emailed me today saying they had received an endorsement for my book from Amazon. Below you will find a quote from the email they sent me.
"I got an endorsement for your book...from Amazon and this was given a very impressive rating. I'd like to invite you for an interview and ask you some questions to see if this would be a good fit for our company to offer partnership with or invest in."
It is a good thing I did my research and found your blog. I took your warning to heart and deleted their email. Thank you, for saving my rear and the sequel I am working on.

Anonymous said...

Victoria Strauss you're MEAN NAYSAYER defaming start-up businesses with no VALID PROOF! - truth is you're PAID by AUTHOR SOLUTIONS! GET A LIFE!

diana said...

I just found out I was scammed by Crest Media Distribution. I feel so naive and stupid now. I am trying to get my money back. Interviews with Kate Delaney led by Book trail agency are they also a scam?

Victoria Strauss said...

diana, I'm sorry to hear about Crest Media Distribution. Hopefully you can get your money back; one way to do that is to file a dispute with your credit card company, bank, or PayPal (depending on how you paid).

Book Trail Agency is also a scam (the same kind of scam as Crest Media). For more on why paying for radio interviews is not a good idea (even if you get the interview), see my blog post: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2019/12/vanity-radio-why-you-should-think-twice.html.

Anonymous said...

fuck you Victoria Strauss!!!!!

Mercedes R Lackey said...

Sweet Baby Jesus. It's not just self-published writers. I've gotten about a dozen calls from these dweebs over the past couple of months, all asking for me by name and then if I had written "random book of mine" although once it was "someone else's random book," and then going into their spiel. The thing is, I can't figure out how the hell they got my number. The ONLY thing I can figure is that I published the e-versions of a handful of my old books that we never sold e-writes to (because e-books didn't exist) on Kindle via the White Glove agency program, and I had to be listed as the "publisher of record." Could Kindle have sold these rat bastards our contact info?

Victoria Strauss said...

Thank you, Anonymous 8/26. Always good to get confirmation that I'm doing my job!

Mercedes--I honestly don't know. The solicitations from these scams heavily focus on writers who pubbed via Author Solutions imprints (since many of the scammers worked for AS, or have contacts there who feed them information). I also hear from writers who haven't used AS, though that's more unusual. I really don't think it's Kindle, though, simply because I rarely hear from KDP authors. I get questions and complaints about the scams almost daily, and if Kindle were selling authors' contact info, I think I'd be hearing from a lot more of them.

Mary said...

Receiving several emails from "Book Vine Press" (bookvinepress.com) Not interested in dealing with them even if they are legit, but thought you might want to take a look & see if they actually are legit. Otherwise I'm tired of calls from a Florida area code several times a day. I don't usually answer the phone if I don't recognize the caller, however, one company from "Florida" actually filled my voicemail box after 3 weeks. They called several times a day. Ugh. Thanks for your work Victoria, much appreciated! -Mary

Victoria Strauss said...

Mary,

Book Vine Press is included on my scam list in the post above and also in the sidebar...I've gotten many reports and complaints about their fees and poor service.

Perry Brass said...

I have been. driven crazy recently by YourOnlinePublcisit, YOP, to the point that they call call me 3 or 4 times a day. I have hung up on them immediately, screamed at them, cursed. them—they still call. I realized a while back what this is all about: they want to soak you. for. $8,000—that is their optimum fee. All they have to do is get 100 suckers a year and they've made $800,000—that is a lot of lettuce in the Philippines. Or, they can soak 50 suckers, and that is $400,000. So, why not just keep at me, or. you, for that matter? I've had these same jerks call from an endless list of phony publicity companies. They seem to get more urgent and. desperate with time. But, there is always that $8,000 pay off for them if they find the right pigeon at the end. Perry Brass, Belhue Press.

Anonymous said...

I have recently been contacted by Pearson Media Group because they claim they want to sponsor my book into a movie. They are allegedly based in CA USA and the Production Supervisor is Markus...

Please advise...

Unknown said...

Please add RUSTIC HAWS to your list. They are a scam too. I paid them $999 and they did nothing for me only sent back exactly what I emailed with no change to the book cover or editing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this list. I just got off the phone with Teri, who told me she was Filipino like me, from Authors Press soliciting promotion of my book at the LA Times Festival of books for $999. I will not be moving forward with them. Their content online, her follow up email with videos that screamed stock video/photography made me cautious that this seemed like a scam and then I saw you had them on the list. Authors BEWARE

Anonymous said...

Hi, fellow authors. Has anyone published with Europe Books, specifically working with an editor called Ginevra Picani? Just want to know if they're legit.

Dr. Brian Alikhani said...

Dear Victoria

I wanted to thank you for saving me because I have been contacted at least by half of these fake agencies that you have listed here. I have always referred to your posting and exited the contract in the last minute. They are relentless. I have 2 questions and hope you or someone can rescue me again: 1) Is a company called "Fact and Fiction" based in New York legitimate? They claim to have great Literary Agents. 2) Is there a legitimate company out there (for Gods sake) that can help me market the book? I'm interested in finding a real Literary Agent and/or a company that can help market my book: Untethered, Children of Cyrus. It's a great book that need marketing. I can be reached at balikhani5@gmail.com. I'm willing to partner with anyone who's real, not fake like these people that you have alerted us. THANKS AGAIN.

Victoria Strauss said...

Dr. Alikhani,

I'm glad you've found my blog useful! Please feel free to contact me directly if you have a question about an individual's or a company's reputation: beware@sfwa.org.

I've just become aware of Fact and Fiction, which appears to be very new. In my judgment, it is another scam. Watch for a blog post this week.

As far as marketing goes...reputable PR companies are extremely costly, and for a small press- or self-published book, that expense just doesn't make sense, since the economics of those publishing methods don't favor volume sales, and volume sales is what PR is all about. Smaller, less expensive marketing services or individual PR providers are too often either inexpert or outright scams. That's not to say all of them are, but the likelihood is high. As a rule of thumb, a reliance on junk marketing methods (methods that are cheap to provide and can be sold at a substantial markup) is one of the main warning signs. Such methods include press releases, email blasts, book trailers, book fair display, paid book reviews, paid radio interviews, Facebook ads, and more.

Literary agents represent manuscripts to publishers and help manage authors' careers, but they don't do marketing. Literary agents may be interested in representing a self-published or small press-published book to larger publishers--but that's usually on the basis of substantial sales--on the order of thousands of copies sold in a relatively short period of time, such as the first year of release.

NC Talker said...

I wish I had scrolled all the way to the bottom before paying this crew. I hate to pile on, but Fact and Fiction Entertainment and Literary Agency is pure FICTION. They are not listed as a corporation IN NYC nor Delaware. The photo for Andie Millstone is also fiction and associated with several profiles online. The CEO does not exist. They are supposed to have been around since 2005 there is no online trail.

NC Talker said...

Fact and Fiction Entertainment and Literary Agency appears to be a scam. The paypal payment actually went to an unverified account overseas, Probably to the Phillipines. Payment went to Carlo Carpio
The receiver of this payment is Non-US - Unverified
finance@factandfic.com There is no listing of this company in NYC or Delaware. No business permits. I did a reverse image check online and that photo of Andie Millstone is a stock photo attached to severe different names online.

Victoria Strauss said...

NC Talker,

I'm really sorry this happened to you. I'm working on a blog post about Fact and Fiction--which I agree is a scam. WOuld you please share with me any correspondence you received from them, as well as documentation of the payment so I can research the account and the account holder? All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. My email is beware@sfwa.org. Thanks so much.

Unknown said...

I got an email from editorspressandmedia and a follow up phone call saying that Harper Collins was interested in acquiring a photo book I self published. They sent me a copy of the email that they said came from Harper Collins with the editor's name. I know a little about publishing, especially photo books, so I did not bite on their "fee" of $3500 for editing and an author website. I found you blog while I was on the phone with "Stacey" and saw that their name is on your list.
Thanks for doing this

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 9/22,

I've recently written about Editor's Press and Media and their HarperCollins scam: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2020/08/alert-scammers-impersonating-major.html. Glad you found my blog.

Lewis Kempfer said...

I self-published a memoir last year with BookBaby. They’re legit but expensive and have issues. But today I received a call from Authors Press. They said I was on a list provided by Amazon of popular titles. They said my book is getting a lot of traffic but it’s not converting to sales due to price. I agree with that because BookBaby priced the book above what anyone would pay for a book by an unknown author. They were recommending a re-launch. Again, not a bad idea as my launch in September 2019 was disastrous due to how BookBaby deals with Amazon. But this isn’t about BookBaby—they’re not perfect, but they do what they say will and are actually reachable. I smelled a rat right away as the woman’s accent was very much like those of reps in Phillipines-based customer service call centers. I wasted 90 minutes on a phone call but it was actually good practice answering questions about my book. My book has received two awards and many positive reviews. I don’t know if the Amazon traffic angle is true or just a ploy. Anyway, Authors Press appeared on Reedsy’s list of known scam companies, most based in the Phillipines. I’m disappointed but not surprised.

Mark Sprague said...

Thanks for the update regarding the company, Pearson Media Group. I just received an email from them saying they had thoroughly reviewed my book and want to talk about an International Film and movie recommendation. As I've done with other companies, and there have been many, I tell them that if they can tell me one thing about my book's story, other than the title, then I would be willing to at least talk to them. I usually get some excuse and I never hear from them again.

Anonymous said...

I recently was contacted via email from a literary agent or someone claiming to be a literary agent wanting to reformat my already self-published book. Unfortunately with the documentation they provided when I accused them of being scammed i fell for it and gave them a partial payment. Now in a ten week agreement process I have not heard from them since the middle of September. Unfortunately its one of the companies you listed on your blog. Now I dont know what to do. Any advice?

JT2Associates said...

Unfortunately I was scammed by Editor’s Press in Media. Their number is a google number and the office is virtual with a Virginia address. I sent my check to Virginia but it was cashed in Florida. I’ve hired an attorney and filed charges in Virginia. Has anyone had any luck in receiving their funds back?

JT2Associates said...

Thank you! They have contacted me as well.

JT2Associates said...

Don’t feel bad. It happened to me as well just recently. At first I blamed myself for being so trusting but that’s who I am and I’m not going to allow low life’s, regardless of their financial situation to change me. There’s no excuse for scheming honest people about if their money and interfering with their morale as writers. I’m going going to be wise going forward and keep writing. As someone said, no one should call you and ask you to pay for your own product.

JT2Associates said...

Victoria, I wish I had seen your blog. They scammed me. Is there any chance I can get my money back?

Victoria Strauss said...

JT2Associates,

What I suggest on getting your money back: if paid by credit card and you're still within the dispute window, file a dispute with your credit card company or your bank. They take disputes seriously and will investigate. I've heard from writers who've been able to get at least some of their money back this way. Best of luck.

Naveen Sridhar said...

Thank you for your kind warnings and hints. Luckily, I have not yet gone into any financial commitments. After your advice, I refused to enter any agreement with a representative posing as a free agent, but only an employee of PageTurner Publ. co. After some 6 months, she called me again, having forgotten my case. Imagine, I recognized by her curious drawl. Same talk of approaching the Big Five among publishers etc. So, you notice how your advice has kept me off the hook for the second time. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Not published but spoke online with the editor. Mentioned two types of contract (Traditional and Co-operative if I recall) to be discussed at a team meeting. Unsurprisingly I received the latter type, where they were asking for £2300 for the first 200 books but would only receive a refund when additional 500 sold. Offer was a plan for my writing but found same worded document online. Strange??

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 11/3,

Are you talking about Europe Books/Europa Edizioni? If so, I've blogged about it here: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2020/09/pay-to-play-alert-europe-books-europa.html

BlingSkyWrites said...

Hi Victoria,

I need some input here. I am a self-published author of 3 children's books thus far and all were published with Xlibris Pub. Company. I had a very negative experience with them and spent a lot of money since 2014. So for a year or two, I really have not worked with any book publishing companies and really did not have the momentum to move forward with anymore publishing of books. That said, I got a call this past summer from a Literary agent from Rushmore Press Literary Agency and Publishing Company. The person asked if I had any work that had not been published and of course I did, so after chatting it up with me for over 2 hours, I was given the opportunity to send my unpublished manuscript to him with the idea that it would get reviewed by a strict review committee at an upcoming book event they have every year to scout new material. After about 14 days, I got an email back from him stating that my book faired very well with the review committee and they wanted to work with me in marketing and publishing my book. I paid very good money (not going to list the amount just yet, but rest asuured, it is a substantial amount). My manuscript is a children's book (middle-grade) and the subject matter is very unique and trendy and I was told it was written very well (did not need editing as I edited it myself) and that they felt it could be a popular seller for the upcoming book selling season. OK, so I pay them the desired amount (which they also stated was a small percentage of the total cost of producing my book and a short trailor and a strong marketing plan). I paid via credit card and I got several calls back from the agent. Got documents sent to my right away explaining my book package, etc. which I signed and sent back in a timely manner. Received emails from the Project Manager (a woman and this person has left and soon I got a new email telling me the new persons name, etc.) Ok, so this new person asks me for a bit more detailed information for the illustrator to use to do their illustrating (5 total including the cover). So, now it is about late September 2020, and I have not heard much so I email this new woman and she tells me the illustrator needs 30-45 days to do their work. OK, so recently it has been on my mind that I should be hearing something pretty soon. I want so much to believe I have not been scammed, I can't take another one of these scammy things right now. I honestly did do some research and did not see their name on any list, so I ran with it. And, I believe strongly in my work that it is good and worthy of what they told me. As of this date, I have called several times to the company and it is a 1 800 number and it goes directly to a voice message that says if you know your parties ex, blah blah do this, etc. Did that, and also sent emails recently. I realize it is Saturday, and it is also Covid days, so with all that, I do hope I hear something very soon. Can you tell me anything that will give me some hope? I don't like the 1-800 number thing and I don't remember that being the case earlier this summer when I would call. Ugh!
skybookstuff88@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info and warnings. I self-published with Authorhouse, and for the last few years I am getting many calls. I have kept a list and seen quite a few of them on your list. Shocking! Even the one I thought sounded legit is on there. Also knowing real publisher's rarely or never call authors is good to know. I have never accepted any of these scams, b/c I have been used once for a marketing scam from AH, and that was enough to teach me to beware. What is the protocal for submitting a manuscript to a real publisher?

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 11/09,

You asked what the protocol is for submitting to a real publisher. It depends on the publisher. For the Big 5 (Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, etc.) and the larger independents you really do need a literary agent, so if a bigger publisher is your goal, that would be the place to start. If you're willing to consider smaller publishers (which can do a good job but generally have fewer resources and less distribution), you can submit directly: the guidelines for doing so should be on the publisher's website.

For more information, see the Literary Agents and Small Presses pages of the Writer Beware website: http://www.writerbeware.com/.

Unknown said...

I was scammed BIG time with CAPSTONE Publishing...now I believe (from your helpful list) using STAMPA as there name......I have also been contacted recently by SILVER INK....again, thank you for your list as I searched it out and guess what!!! once again, it is listed as a scam. I did also years ago, have contact and very little money involved with Xlibris....Janelle Gresham

Anonymous said...

Crazy Victoria Strauss!!!

Its simple! She created this website simply because she was paid and she wanted her own publishing company to flourish!

Most of these companies really fulfill their services. I have worked with some of them. They are way cheaper and faster when it comes to fulfillment.

Victoria's ultimate motive is MONEY! She discredits her competitors. Not a good sport!

Why dont you just improve your services and make your fulfillment faster rather than using discredit tactics for your own business to succeed???

I bet your mother didnt love you!!!

Anonymous said...

Beware of Stellar Literary Press and Media. They wanted $1300 up front to publish and market my book. They have a legimitate looking website but when I typed in "consumer reviews" for this company, this Writer Beware website came up. Their address is in Laguna Beach, n upscale acommunity one hour north from here in San Diego. In the background I could hear a rooster. I asked about the noise and Ryan Wilson said his neighbors had a cockfighting ring. cockfighting is very illegal in the US as well as zoning restrictions for roosters in Laguna Beach. Kinda funny this guy got busted by hearing "cock a doodle do" in the background.

Terry the Wombat said...

I want to know more about Editors Press Media Literary Agents. Are they legitimiate or have I sqaundered thousands of dollars for nothing. I have had to get a Developmental Edit of my self authored book so they could recommend it to Harper Collins or MacMillan Publishers.

Victoria Strauss said...

Terry the Wombat,

Editor's Press and Media is on my Big List of Scams (see the sidebar). Also, here's a link to my blog post on Editor's Press and Media's fake HarperCollins, etc. offers, which are also a scam: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2020/08/alert-scammers-impersonating-major.html.

Would you email me? I'd like to know more about your experience. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence--your name and identifying info will never be shared. My email is beware@sfwa.org . Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This has been happening to me from the time I published my book through Author House. My email has been private, not published, and I am highly certain Author House sells that info out. It all started with marketing attempts from Phillippino reps that Author House actually has working for them. They never know the name of my book until the second it pops up on the computer and they stumble over the title, not even knowing the genre, etc... One ingrate actually called and demanded I give him "a straight answer" why I wasn't marketing my book. Then he said he's waisting our time, when I was just about to hear him out. Guerrilla marketing. Creepy.

Carey said...

Has anyone heard of Cahill Davis Publishing? They're out of the UK. They look legit, but just being careful.

Victoria Strauss said...

Carey,

I haven't heard of this company before. My main concerns are the founder's lack of professional publishing experience (you can find articles about her if you do a websearch on the company name) and the fact that this publisher is brand new--just started up in October--and hasn't actually published anything yet. There's a very high failure rate among new small publishers, and it's wise to wait on approaching them until they've been issuing books for at least a year and have shown some stability. This also allows you to assess important things like quality and marketing, and gives time for problems, if any, to surface.

Anonymous said...


If you've been scammed by a Filipino-owned (Cebu-based) publishing company pretending to be in the United States, you may contact The National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division.

Gather all your documents, record every conversation with your Publishing Consultant and contact the following agencies in the Philippines.



National Bureau of Investigation
Cybercrime Division
Taft Avenue, Manila
Tel: (632)523-8231 to 38 local 3454, 3455
Email: ccd@nbi.gov.ph

Philippine National Police
PNP-ACG Operations Center
Camp Crame, Quezon City
Tel: (632)414-1560
Fax: (632)414-2199
Email: info@acg.pnp.gov.ph

DOJ Office of Cybercrime
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila
Tel: (632)521-8345 and (632)524-2230
Email: cybercrime@doj.gov.ph

Unknown said...

Hi Victoria,

By posting the list of scammers you have saved me thousands of dollars.

I found two names of advertising companies that I was debating on accepting their offer.

Thank you so very much.

DC

Unknown said...

I've just heard from Jurnal Press (yes that's the way they spell it) from Sheridan, Wyoming. They're offering 2 years publicity FREE, and 100% royalties. Sounds too good to be true and I'm sure it is. They're not on your list but you might want to look into them. And thank you so much for saving me from another one - Readers Magnet - which is on your list.

MJD

Unknown said...

Thank you Victoria. I can't tell you how therapeutic it was to read your post. I have been battling URLink Publishing over the book company's exploitation of my very disabled, elderly mother who is an amateur poet. They call my mother at the crack of dawn when she is asleep. My mother's caretakers have told them for nearly a year not to call at this hour because she is sick. URLink Publishing has swindled thousands upon thousands of dollars from my mother's retirement account.

I became suspicious when I was helping my mother pay her bills and found that in December 2020 alone, URLink had taken nearly one thousand dollars from her account. When I asked the "company" for an invoice, they said $600.00 was for a prize submission. I am actually a professor of literature and know that reputable, honest presses do not charge for prize submission. When I looked up the prize that they claim they needed $600.00 to submit her book, I found that the registration fee for the prize is only $100. They pocketed $500.00 for something that anyone can do for free. When I asked them for a refund based on astronomical, unethical charges, they said "no" because professional services had been "availed."

This first encounter lead me to find lie upon lie piled up: fake names, huge withdrawals, extensive coercion of my mother by individuals with fake names like "Jordan Baxter," "Bella Dy," and "John Keith." The phone numbers on their own emails and webpage do not work.

But the only wish of my poor mother who is terribly sick and in late stages of a disease is to have her poetry published. But this company is not to be trusted. And they have depleted significant sums from her retirement account that is vitally needed for her in-home care. I told them this fact and they were indifferent. They took the money (illegally) and ran.

I have contacted the Better Business Bureau. I will also contact the FBI and federal consumer protection agency. If other people have been damaged to the extent that our family has, then please let me know if you are interested in a class action lawsuit.

Unknown said...

I've been contacted by Authors Avenue Media Group. Are they among the scam artists? A yes or no reply is all I need. Thank You.

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 2/27,

Yes. I looked at its website and it's got all the markers. I've added it to the list.

BlingSkyWrites said...

I would like to give an update of my progress to date with Rushmore Press. From my previous post here where I was very concerned that I was possibly being scammed again by these companies wanting to publish our cherished written work, I have to say I am (at this present time) a happy camper thus far. Rushmore Press has shown me great promise and they are doing what I understand they said they would do and also what I signed on for. What happened after the post I did on here about my dismay with them at that time was that I was able to contact my representative (after a lot of posts on their Facebook site) - he actually called me. I then communicated loud and clear my frustration with the company at that time and I will share those feelings with you here.
My husband and I are senior citizens on a fixed income. We worked hard over the years to manage our lives and we take pride in all that we have obtained from the hard work we did. That said, this is what I communicated to him in my phone conversation that day when he called me back, "you would think that a company that took several thousand dollars from senior citizens on a fixed income, would take note of that somewhere in their files and make an extra attempt to stay in good communication with these people to give them trust and good faith that the money they just gave up was not a huge mistake! You people need to know that I saw your name on Victoria's list and therefore, I need to you assure me that we have not been ghosted and that what I signed on for is actually going to happen - it's been over like 45 days!" He went on to say that they were aware of Victoria's list and that I needed to understand that many of these companies make the list because of one or two customers who were not happy with the service they got and that they are working fast and furious to correct those mistakes and thus gain a better name for themselves, etc. That said, I let him know that we were getting very worried and impatient and that "taking senior citizens hard earned and very much thought about whether to give it up money and then ghosting them was not going to get them on any positive list anytime soon." Immediately, after that phone call, I got emails from the new girl who is their Product Manager and she assured me my manuscript was being worked on and that they were waiting on the illustrators to do their necessary work, etc. Then, within a day or two of those emails, I got an email showing me the work the illustrator had done to date. With all this, I signed on last September 2020, and I can say that my project is in its final stages and I just signed off on the manuscript for the book (hard cover, soft cover and e format) and I am pleased with their work and their better communication. It is now my hope that they have learned something from my words conveyed to them and that they will seriously take into consideration the fact that when people fork over serious money, they need to understand that serious communication needs to happen and you need to work with your customer and treat them with the highest regard if you want your company to flourish. I am enthusiastic with the work they have produced for me thus far and am hopeful that all will continue to fruition and my book will have good success and good sales. Time will tell in that regard but I do hope that this post helps those wondering about this company and that it helps people to have some hope that they are not all impossible, you may just have to be that "squeaky wheel".
333

Victoria Strauss said...

Thanks for your comment, BlingSkyWrites. I'm afraid that for me, your experience only highlights the predatory nature of Rushmore Press and similar scams, which prey particularly on people just like you. You shouldn't have to throw a fit just to get the services you paid for, and the difficulty you experienced in getting a Rushmore rep to contact you just further further highlights that (although I'm glad to know that mentioning this blog seems to have shaken something loose for you).

I hope your experience continues to be satisfactory, but I would urge you not to pay them any more money (as they surely will try to persuade you to do, now that they've put up a front of being helpful and responsive). Please come back and let me know what happens.

N Tochi said...

Hi Victoria, I am currently working with Editors Press and Media. The “literary agent” who cold called me in October was so “nice”, prayerful and Godly ( so I thought). I was told that my republication was diverted to SilverInk Agency in November and have since made several payments! I am clearly in shock reading all these! This March would be 4 months since the process started and all I have received is book cover images and a poorly done editing! I am confused at this point and not even sure what to do next. I have reached out to them with a 30 day notice that if the process is not completed by 3/31 , I need my money back. I am still awaiting a reply!
I shutter to think that I’ve been scammed out of my hard earned money!!!
Still holding out hope that they will fulfill their promises before end of this March

N Tochi said...

I concur. Seems l’ve been scammed by editors press and Media/ SilverInk Agency!
Only time will tell, trying to stay optimistic and not be bitter. But if this is a scam, will engage them incessantly till I get my money back!

N Tochi said...

Seems I may have been scammed by Editors Press and Media as well! Paid a whole lot of money for various republication work including website, publicist, and professional book reviews. Have only received 2 book cover images and a poor quality book draft! I’ve given them a deadline of 3/31/21 to complete contracted services, else refund my money. Will fight this company with all I have if this is a scam because honest people should not be taken advantage of like this!
Email me:
Will keep you posted on developments

simpletips888@gmail.com
N Tochi

ItsNotGonnaBeEasy said...

All scammers should have to pay back what they stole from vulnerable people who believe everything they say, especially the forlorn and elderly. They think their book is going to sell and make them money, and when a scammer comes along, they lose whatever money they might have, borrowed, or saved. It is not right. The person getting that money should give it all back, plus interest.

Kevin the Author of Trial and Triumph said...

I wish I had found your site a year ago. I was scammed by OdysseyMediaPress. The payments went to Charezz A. Capin in the Phillipines. Other OdysseyMediaPress contacts were: Carlos Devarra, Gia Torres and Raphael Garcia. They called me and told me they wanted to make my book into a movie, but first I had to complete a social media marketing ($10,000), 2 cinema promotions ($4,400). Then I had to pay $20,000 for my part in the movie production. Later they said they needed a treatment ($3,000), treatment copyright ($2,299) and literary agent pitch ($2,400). They listed an address in West Virginia as their business. I stopped by the address on the way to visit my son and found it was a private home and they knew nothing of OdysseyMediaPress. I had believed I was safe because I had paid through PayPal, but that turned out to not be true at all. When I raised the disputes PayPal ruled in favor of OdysseyMediaPress stating that they had stated that they would fulfill the contracts. I saw that PayPal was only interested in closing the disputes and protecting the merchant. As soon as OdysseyMediaPress won the disputes and knew they could get no more money from me, they shut down their web site and email addresses so I could no longer contact them. I went back to PayPal and they would not share any information about the merchant citing privacy reasons. The scam is to keep an author paying for things that they never actually do, but instead keep finding new things that the author needs to pay for before the original contract can be fulfilled, and then when the author has had enough, just disappear.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing information about these scams. Several years ago I published a book with Lulu. Last year I received many calls from Book Times and they scammed me out of thousands of dollars for re-publishing and advertising my book. Last week I received calls from others on your list, such as Spark Literary and Media. The author was very pushy and kept calling me back after I told them that I was not interested. These companies promise that an author will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in book sales, which is a story that is too good to be true. The scammers use different phone numbers (fake numbers) when they call.

Robert Wahler said...

I agree. Victoria?

Anonymous said...

Dear Victoria,

I received an email from Pearsons Media & Consultancy seeking a partnership proposal for my book.

From what I understand from your blog, Pearson Media Group is categorized as one of your Scam List.

Is Pearsons Media & Consultancy associated with Pearson Media Group?

Your advice is very much appreciated.

Thank you.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 3/12,

Without knowing anything else about Pearsons Media & Consultancy, I would guess it to be a scam, simply because of the unsolicited approach and the "partnership" proposal. Overwhelmingly these days, such approaches are by scammers.

Other than that...my hunch is that Pearsons (with an S) is NOT the same company as Pearson (without an S). But doing some research on Pearsons with an S, it's clearly the same type of scam. Most of the markers are present: unsolicited emails, re-publishing offers, unverifiable claims of expertise, multiple grammatical errors in website text, and big money for junk marketing.

Other anomalies: I did a spot check on the books they claim to be "our works", and none of them exist. Their web domain is less than four months old. They also claim to be located in New Jersey, but they have no business registration there and the copyright notice on their website is "Pearsons Media Ltd.", which suggests a UK company. There is a Companies House registration (Companies House provides business registrations for UK companies) for Pearson Media Consultancy Limited (no S, no &), run by a Mr. Benjamin Pearson, but its SIC code indicates it's a management consultancy, and it was incorporated in 2019. So I don't think it's the same as the outfit that contacted you.

Bottom line beyond all this background info: my strong suspicion is that Pearsons-with-an-S is a scam, and my advice would be to tell it to stop contacting you.

Marie said...

Victoria, you have the right name. You are victorious in this job of yours. Better than the Police (as Pirot says).
I too have been scammed by Xlibris;(Got 2 books and a video $AU12,000) AuthorHouse, Capstone, Stampa. Some are still contacting me by email. Almost lost $40,000 from a Filipino agent. (Yes, she had the accent) Stopped in time! Imagine that credid card!
I am now a publisher, simply because it was the way forward with my writting and publishing. I have helped a few new authors to publish their titles. (No money involved)

Victoria, if you need volunteers to help with this, I am willing to assist in some way. I have a detective's heart and actually found out some interesting facts of telephone scammers who took all our savings on 28 September 2018. The bank finally reimbursed 50% after I gave them this information through ACCC. It made me suicidal at the time.
These are crimes that deserve some justice for the unfortunate author whose dreams are crushed without care. I want to see this happen.
Thank you so much for your due diligence. Marie

Anonymous said...

Dear Victoria,

Thank you so much for your quick response.

Your scrutiny on Pearsons Media & Consultancy is thorough with details pointing towards a scammer.

I really appreciate your kind heart, great care, and effort to help so many authors, just like me who can be easily blinded, fall into scammer's prey. God's blessings are always within and without you.

I abide by your invaluable advice to stay off this scammer, Pearsons Media & Consultancy.

Thank you once again, Victoria!

Keep well and stay safe

Jeremy

O.K. Oyenekan said...

Continue your good work; it is already having a sanitising effect within the publishing space.

I just got a mail from Silver Ink Literary Agency. For a full disclosure, I belong to the group of writers who are already severely disillusioned with scammers posing to offer literary services with intent to fraudulent ends. I have twice fallen to a couple of them.

Could you kindly use your good connections to assist to check the credibility of Silver Ink Literary Agency. I am wiling to send their mail to you to read first hand, if you don't mind.

God bless.

O. K.Oyenekan

Anonymous said...

Silver Ink Literary Agency apparently have only been in operation a short while, I became quite suspicious especially when one of the agents has a Twitter account started early in 2020.

I have a question, I had been receiving regular royalties from a publishing company, they the royalties and the company have ceased, their website is down as well as their phone numbers. Emails haven’t bounced back yet, and I’m wondering what I do next. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Zoë

Victoria Strauss said...

Zoe,

Please email me: beware@sfwa.org. I need to know more about what you're experiencing (including the publisher's name) in order to offer advice. All information shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence. Thanks@

Anonymous said...

Austin Macauley Publishers are worst than vanity publishers. They ask you a "contribution" but the editing they provide is hilarious. They assume from the start that the book has no chance on the market, and make a profit from your contribution. They take the money to destroy the author’s chances.

Unknown said...

I was scammed by Silver Ink Literary as well. They talked a good game, even produced a contract. Once they talked me into editing fees, then they never answer their phone. I put in a complaint to the BBB but I highly doubt i will get my money back.

Guglielmo said...

Fifth Pillar Books should be added to your Philippine scams, recently tried to take them to small claims court but was unable to find a legitimate address to serve them. I hired and Investigator and they found the owners to be from the Philippines. Real scam artists.

Anonymous said...

Great Writers Media has been endlessly calling me about publishing stuff. I'm baffled as to why, as I don't have any self-published books (I was epublished many years ago, but that isn't online anymore either.) I'm just ignoring them, but I can see how someone might be fooled.

ALEX said...

You can stop now. Should be ashamed of yourself - preying primarily on the elderly and on writers who've self-published. You had me going there for a while - FROM THE PHILIPPINES, NOT WITH LOVE: A PLAGUE OF PUBLISHING AND MARKETING SCAMS
- Silver Ink Literary Agency (aka Editors Press and Media / Editor's Creative Media / Paper Bytes Marketing

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Andrew Wilson
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 4:47 PM
To: Name withheld
Subject: Re: FW: File Request

Hello A.....,


Thank you for this offer, I really appreciate how honest you are. I really wanted to help you become a traditionally published author, at your age it is still not too late for your dream to come true and I'm here with you every step of the way. You have my word. I want you to be credited for your hard work on making this book.

How about if I will propose a meeting with my project manager so we can communicate with the finance department and shoulder the 60% of the cost, so the total amount that you will be paying for the developmental editing would be $744, and we will get 20% commission. Would that work for you?

This is already a guaranteed acquisition and I don't want you to miss this opportunity and what you might have become as an author.

Hoping for the best! Trust me.



Best regards,

Andrew Wilson
Senior Literary Agent | Silver Ink Literary Agency
200 S Virginia St 8th floor, Reno, NV 89501, United States
https://www.silverinkliteraryagency.com/
Email: andrew.wilson@silverliteraryagency.com
Phone: (775) 993-6956 ext.125

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this info . My husband received an email from so called Ben Harris of Pearsons media & consultancy. My husband showed me the latest email he sent about the so called promising good future of the book and asking how much he will spend for publishing the book. I told my husband is something bit fishy to me so I'm doing some research now to find out if it's legit and I discover this helpful information from you. Thank you.
My husband had been scammed before by Xlibris. We even visited the place in Cebu City. It looks like a call center. Wish we research about this before.

Can you suggest any legit publishers based here in Australia? My husband really want to publish his book. And I don't want him to end up always submitting his manuscript to the scammers.

Linsey Knerl said...

Great Writers Media has been calling and emailing nonstop, even after telling them to take me off their list. After I explain that I already have a marketing team with my book that was just recently published by Simon & Schuster, they seem surprised for a moment, and then ask "how are sales?" and try to tell me that they should take over the marketing from my publisher. They must call hundreds of people a day because they have no record of past calls and every time they call is from a different number. They call at the worst times (when kids are napping, etc.) Make it stop!

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 4/27,

Writer Beware doesn't make publisher recommendations, but Australian Writers Marketplace is a good starting point: https://writersmarketplace.com.au/. The online version requires a subscription fee, but you can also buy a hardcopy book if you prefer.

Linsey Knerl,

You are among the very, very few trad-pubbed authors to be targeted by Great Writers Media and its ilk--at least, as far as I've heard in several years of tracking these scams. They overwhelmingly focus on self-published authors. Unfortunately if one of these outfits has gotten your contact information, others have it as well, so brace yourself for more solicitations.

Anonymous said...

WRITERS BEWARE IS A BAIT TO AUTHORS! LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY DO THE PUBLISHERS OF THE BOOK SCAMMED THE AUTHOR? IF THEY SCAMMED THE AUTHORS HOW COME THEY HAVE PUBLISHED BOOKS UNDER THE PUBLISHERS NAME? MAKE SENSE? HAHAHA

Victoria Strauss said...

HAHAHAHA indeed.

James Mace said...

Ah yes, I've been getting contacted lately by Glasslink Solutions, stating:
"I am pleased to inform you that your book, " Soldier of Rome: The Centurion" has been reviewed and endorsed by our evaluation team for its cinematic potential. and the probability of being adapted for film/TV.

If you would like to take the next step, we can set a time to discuss the details. Would you be available for a phone call this week?"

The first immediate red flag for me is that The Centurion is the fourth book of six in my series, The Artorian Chronicles, and it came out ten years ago. Why the deuce would they ask about a book in the middle instead of the beginning of a series? It feels almost as if they simply chose a title at random (I do have twenty-five works published as of this posting). They enclosed a couple of PDF files, but I have not opened these, as I fear they may be infested with malware. Has anyone else dealt with Glasslink Solutions? Cheers!

James

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria, I was contacted by Regina Wilson of Pearson Media about my book Of Poems. I almost got scammed for $3000. Then I found your informative research while researching this company. They even sent me a proposal via email. I will forward the original email and the proposal.

Maverick said...
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Maverick said...
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Maverick said...
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Robsutton24 said...

Athena Wilson from Great Writers Media, "You have been one selected out of only eight!... We already have a draft of your cover... Completely free! Completely free! Only a $1200 marketing fee... The offer is only available today." So many obvious red flags. Do not get scammed by them.

Unknown said...

RUSHMORE PRESS - SCAM Company! BEWARE! The address, the company, the office you see in Google and on their website is FAKE. That Las Vegas Office doesn't exist. It is actually hiding in a very small apartment in Punta Princesa, Cebu City Philippines ran by Danie John Gumalo, aka Daryl Hayes, aka Geri Williams - one and the same person.

Anonymous said...

I’d like to add ganpimedia for a company to WATCH out. They're a group of scammers so BEWARE people. They claim to be in Canada but in reality they're just one of many Author Solutions clones. I put the link to their website for your reference. https://ganpimedia.com/

Anonymous said...

I have paid tons of monies to Golden Ink Media Services a.k.a. Greensage Agency or Pen Culture Solutions sent bank transfers to some P One Media Marketing Consultancy under a very Filipino lady name in the Philippines I think the owner Ms. Sugarol. I filed a bank dispute and found out their bank in the US was under a guy called Brian Dominic Padilla. Right after purchased their screenplay service for $25,000 Authors' Breakthrough Solutions, Inc. kept on calling me too. These are a bunch of people changing imprint names but all running businesses in Cebu City, Philippines. Don't be scammed with these people.

Anonymous said...

I was just contacted by Parchment Global Publishing. When I was on the phone with them I googled them. When I told them I was looking at the BBB website and that they were listed on the site as a scam. They said What do you mean? I replied with: You are scamming people and should be ashamed of yourself. They then hung up and I found this website.
Thank you Victoria for all of this information. I am looking to republish my book that I originally published and got scammed with by Tate.
I will be checking your site often looking for a self publisher that is not out to take my money, but to help me!
Brenda Crout
www.welcometoelizasworld.weebly.com

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! Youronlinepublicist just cold called me. They claimed they would publish my book and then give me 80% of the royalties. They failed to mention in that initial conversation that I would have to pay them $1,000 up front and then $20 per month in order to have them list my book on their website. Their entire schpeel is about marketing the book, but all they want to do is remake the cover and then list it on their website. They claimed worldwide distribution, but instead, listing their book on their website seems to be all they offer.

If they call my house, I'm keeping open this page and quoting it until they leave me alone.

Thanks for putting up with scammers' little tirades. Don't worry! They are more funny than anything else, and it shows what a difference your posts are making.

I think more people should post their experiences with these companies on review sites. I just put mine on the Better Business Bureau. Sitejabber is another one, so if you've had any negative experiences with this company, post it until the entire world knows.

Thanks so much, Victoria.

Boca Raton Real Estate said...

Thank you for this information. This happened to me yesterday in regards to a book my mother wrote. They are relentless. They go by a script and stick to it. When I asked, have you read the book? The person said yes, and when I asked what it was about, he didn't have a clue. He said something that had nothing to do with the book It's a shame they prey on the elderly, Thank goodness my mother passed their call to me. DO not fall for their tactics of trying to convince you to give them any money. Do your due diligence and research. Everything is available on the web.

mrsmig said...

Martin & Bowman, LLC, is sending out unsolicited emails offering distribution and representation services, with an emphasis on getting your material in front of film producers. Of course, their victims are expected to kick in, to the tune of several thousand dollars. Their website is full of red flags. Don't fall for it. http://www.martinandbowman.com/

Unknown said...

What about readApple
They have scammed me for a film deal?

Dr. Brian Alikhani said...

Has anyone heard of Goldman agency? I have been contacted by someone at this agency to do a book review:

xxxx
Marketing Supervisor

Phone: (877) 528-3299
Website: www.goldmanagency.com


Victoria Strauss said...

See the list, above. Goldman Agency is on it.

Unknown said...

I TRIED 4 DIFFERENT PUBLISHERS
ALL IC THEM ASK FIR MONEY
DIAMOND PRESS AUTHIR REPUTATION
XLIBRIS. BOOK TRAIL. AND A PUBLISHERS
IN WALES EUROPE.
KIBDLY TELL ME WHICH ARE SCAMMERS
BYE ANNETTE A WRITER PSEUDONYM AQUA

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 7/29.

See the list above. Diamond Media Press, Author Reputation Press, and Book Trail are all on it.

Xlibris is an imprint of Author Solutions. While not as predatory as the scams on the list, it's overpriced, has customer service problems, and uses high-pressure sales tactics to push authors into buying worthless "marketing" services. Plug Xlibris into the search box in the sidebar to see what I've written about it.

I don't know what you mean by "a publisher in Wales Europe." If you'll provide a name, I'll research it. If you're talking about Europe Books, it's a vanity publisher--plug the name into the search box to see my post about it.

Unknown said...

Hiw do we get money back
Lawyers are expensive
Bye from a writer pseudonym Aqua

Unknown said...

Is word house publishing company legit or a scam

A Canadian Lyricist said...

1) Also, Philippines pronounce the word book - sounding like boo ...instead of book - sounding like - look!
2) Dearest Anne instead of Dear Anne
3) How are you doing? In the first line of their letter.
4) They will not take, ‘No’ for an answer!!



Kendragon said...

I have been getting calls from Ennoble Press. I am highly suspicious, so I never return their calls.

Unknown said...

I just had a call from BookTrail. I just have to pay $1000.00 for all of the registration costs like copyright and the barcode. And 100% royalties. Guaranteed.

Thank you for this article. You just saved me a lot of money, heartache, and trouble.

At least I now know what a Filipino accent sounds like.

I could hear a lot of sounds in the background of the call. He could have worked from home, or it could have been a call center. Strange for a senior executive. And his name was Edward John. Not a surname as far as I know.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this enlightenment.
I have forwarded to your email two such questionable proposals to further rip me off after WestBow Press did theirs publishing my book with no royalty report since 2014 despite millions of e copies downloaded on various platforms.

God bless you.

Mark Sprague said...

I just got a phone call from Lit Prime Publishing. Since I didn't recognize the number I didn't answer. They left the following message. "Congrations, you have won a slot with Lit Prime." They didn't leave any information about who they were, only a return phone number. If I had not done a Google search on them, I would not know who they were. I found their website and they look like every other site that offers many publishing services. I'm sure I would have to pay fees for all of their services. No matter what I won, I will not be returning there call.

Saavo said...


thank you for this list as I have been called and emailed by every scammer, it seems like, in existence

(pen name - Saavo - Survival From The Start ...

Unknown said...

Hello. Have you heard of the company book writing prime? They meet some of the scammer criteria but so far they have been seemingly editing my manuscript well each week. They asked me for a sizable amount of money for marketing.

Anonymous said...

I have paid GroveHouse Press $4000 and never heard any feedback from them.
I emailed Trevor Smith and Maria Miller acting as finance manager but they're all gone.

Can you help me check if this company is legit?

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 8/24: I responded to your question in email. Short version: it's a scam.

Anonymous 8/28: I'm sorry, but Grove House Press is also a scam. It's got most of the markers: solicitation, poorly-written English text, false information about the company (it claims to have been in business since 2010, but its web domain was registered only this past May), and more. Your experience of paying a lot of money and then not hearing anything back is also a strong indicator of scammery.

My suggestion would be to file a dispute with your credit card company or bank, if that's how you paid and you're still within the window to do so. Companies and banks take disputes seriously, and will investigate. I've heard from authors who've gotten most or all of their money back that way.

Syl said...

I have been receiving lots of emails from a Regina from Pearsons Media Group. Looks like I was right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. SO many scammers.

Thanks for your help.

There's another one who's reached out to me called Pearsons Media Consultancy. I bet they are all linked.

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria; just received this e-mail from Great Writers Media which you show as a scam. Thank you!!! Self publishing authors beware!
----This is David Wolman a Senior Literary Manager from Great Writers Media. I'm contacting you about your book entitled " Men of Principle: A Novel about Power, Betrayal and Free Will". It was scouted and recommended to us by our literary reviewers. They find the book very interesting.
They have reviewed the book and they also gave a rating of 8.6 out of 10. This is not supposed to be shared but you might be happy to know this. This is what they said:
''This is what sets the author apart from all other writers. Author's unique way of stringing words together, formulating ideas, and relating scenes or images to the reader. In any piece of writing, the voice should be consistent and identifiable which the author has done a very good job."
I'm not sure if you realize it but you have very good material here and at the same time you were able to catch the attention of literary agents.
However, the price of the book is too high. I guess you understand that at the end of the day it's all about business so they need something that will guarantee them the marketability of the book.
You are just a few steps closer to achieving what most authors have been dreaming about and that is to getting picked up by a traditional publisher. However, what's keeping the literary agent from moving forward is they want to know first how sales are doing.
Do you know how many copies have been sold since the book came out? I was hoping to ask you some questions about your book. I'm very interested in your work so if you could, please let me know of the best time and phone number to call you.
Sincerely,
David Wolman
SENIOR LITERARY MANAGER | PUBLICIST
Great Writers Media
24A Trolley Square #1580 Wilmington, DE 19806-3334
P: (302) 425-9753
E: dwolman@greatwritersmedia.com


Unknown said...

Wish I had seen this many months ago. Have been duped by Mike Ramsey, a so called literary agent, who claimed to work for a publishing company called Inspirium and promised republication and a host of advertising openings.

Anonymous said...

I have also received numerous calls from Mike Ramsey, who claimed to be a publicist for direcTOr John Sacci. I don't see Grovepress on the long list whom Ramsey worked for but you said they're a scam.

Cliff H said...

Harper Media LLC is supposedly the parent company of a website, glasslinksolutions.com who claim to provide republishing and marketing services for self published authors. They took my money as the first installment of a plan to republish my book, but upon payment did not provide the services agreed upon, and when I did some research online, I found a review on a scam alert website that was written by an employee, naming Glasslink Solutions as a fake business based in the Philippines. They have a fake address in Wyoming, and use a phone number that shows up on caller ID as Wyoming. But all the employees I spoke to on the phone from their company had Filipino accents. And the website has many broken links, and the Featured Author page is full of self published authors who if you look closely, you'll find that all their books were published in 2016, and only got a couple of reviews on Amazon.com, and none of them were published by Glasslink Solutions. Upon further investigation, I found this blog. Thank you for exposing this craziness! I am working with my credit card company to get my money back, and I will be sharing this article around. Below is the link to the ripoff report.

https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/glasslink-solution/cebu-bogus-company-scam-1501851

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown 10/06,

Do you have any emails confirming the connection between Harper Media LLC (which I've just started getting reports about) and Glasslink Solutions (which has been on my scam list for some time now)? If so, would you share them with me so I can update my list? beware@sfwa.org . Thanks!

Cliff H said...

Update: The day after I found this blog, the rep from Glasslink who goes by Vin Lopez, and his email signature lists his title as Senior Branding Adviser & Executive, called me and left a voice mail. I blocked him. Three days in a row he called multiple times. Finally, I had enough. I called back and he didn't answer. I left a nasty voice mail explaining how I had found this blog and I knew he was a fraud. I demanded my money back, and told him not to contact me again. 10 days later, he called again, leaving a message that he had been out of the office with a bad cold, but just got my voice mail and wanted to talk about processing my refund. So I called him back. As expected, instead of refunding my payment of 200, he proceeded to ask what information I had found that made me distrust him. I told him about the two bad reports I found online, including this one. He said he already knew about them. His excuse was that you, Victoria, are a disgruntled publisher who is trying to discredit your competition by slandering legitimate re-publishing companies. He reassured me that he had already had a face-to-face meeting in Hollywood last week (when he supposedly had a bad cold and couldn't work), and things were looking up for me. He said he was going to put me in touch with a co-worker named Pearl, who would take my ideas for a brand new book cover, and said that my design would be created by one of their artists, many of who "work with Disney." LOL! At the end of the long conversation, I still did not believe anything he said, and he told me that Glasslink Solutions was a "root company" that discovers content to forward to both Harper Media Partners, (https://harpermediapartners.com), (on close examination, this website looks just like one of the fake scams that you report on), and Harper Collins, (https://www.harpercollins.com/), which is an actual legitimate big-name publisher that has books by celebrities, among others, including David Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Anderson Cooper. This is obviously a falsehood. My gut tells me that Glasslink Solutions absolutely has no affiliation with Harper Collins, but their relationship with Harper Media Partners seems suspicious. Also, the text message receipt I got on my phone after I authorized payment to the Glasslink rep lists Harper Partners as the merchant. This is also reflected in the statement on my credit card. Nowhere in my documentation is Glasslink Solution listed as being linked to Harper Media. Furthermore, the initial agreement that I e-signed states that I will receive 100 percent of royalties from sales. I find this too good to be true since when I published with XLibris, they only offered me 25 percent. Check out this section in the contract about refunds. What a rip-off!

6.2 Refunds. Subject to the exception in Section 6.3 below, upon Termination of the Agreement, We will refund
amounts paid by You for Publishing Packages or individual Services ("Refund") as follows:
(a) Publishing Packages. The potential Refund for a Publishing Package is exclusive to the amount paid for such
Publishing Package as set forth in the Service Order(s), and will be calculated as follows:
i) Prior to submission of the Manuscript: 50%, less a non-refundable $150 (USD) Setup Fee
ii) After (i) above but prior to the start of interior design work: 25% iii) After (ii) but prior to
Final Approval: 5%
iv) After Final Approval: No Refund

There is also this disturbing clause on indemnification at the very end.

The more I look closely at this company and deal, the more sinister it seems. I'm expecting another call from "Vin" later, and I plan to play along in the interest of getting more info and possibly catching him in a blatant lie that I can prove. I really wish I had found this blog before I handed over my precious cash!

Victoria Strauss said...

Hi, Cliff,

Thanks for this further information. I'd be really appreciative if you'd forward me the contract (the refund clause you quote sounds a lot like the one in the various Author Solutions imprints' publishing agreements) as well as any other written communication you received from them--including, if possible, a screenshot of the text you mentioned.

Hahaha on the stuff about me. That's one of their stock responses when writers cite my blog (I wish they'd share the name of my supposed publishing company--I'm super curious). Another is that I'm paid to run the blog by Author Solutions.

Glasslink and similar outfits aren't the only ones that play games with royalty terminology; the "100% royalty" promise is an example. What they actually mean is 100% of sales income, which would be your book's retail price less whatever fees and discounts are imposed by retailers (this will vary depending on the retailer). It's just a fancy way of saying they don't take a cut. (Also, a "royalty" is by definition the author's share, so no matter how it's calculated, and whether it's fair or not, you're always getting 100%). Bottom line: they do give you a bigger payout than Xlibris does, but they are also way more likely than Xlibris to lie, cheat, and fail to perform.

Cliff H said...

Thanks for clarifying, Victoria. Do you have an email address I can use to forward all the documents? Or you can just message me personally. CliffHatt75@gmail.com

Victoria Strauss said...

You can email me at beware@sfwa.org. Thanks!

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